Publisher: IV Games
Player Count: 1-5 Players
Solo mode: Yes
Game Length: 60-120 Minutes
Players who have taken on the role as a mercenary in the distant future, fulfilling dangerous shipping contracts, making shaking alliances and seeking personal glory know the 2020 hit, Moonrakers is one of the most unique and interactive gaming experiences available. In this semi-cooperative, deck-building, negotiation game players will work to ultimately sit at the helm of the space-age shipping rebellion known as Moonrakers. This highly fluid, interactive game will require players to apprehensively work together to cooperatively fulfill challenging contracts where the spoils and risk is all up for negotiation.
Moonrakers is a beautifully produced game with top-notch illustrations and deluxe components making it one of the most highly-sought after niche games since its release. That’s why it’s no surprise that Moonrakers is returning to Kickstarter with the Titan Campaign: A big box edition featuring the original Moonrakers game paired with a handful of expansions to enrich the entire experience.
As a huge fan of the original release, we’ve had the honor to preview some of the game’s new material and see what it adds to a game that we regularly play at our gaming nights.
In the Binding Ties expansion players are offered additional incentive to seek alliances throughout the game. Introducing a Reputation Terminal board for each player, Faction Tokens and a series of new Objective, Contracts, Ship Parts and Crew Cards (i.e. more of everything you love about Moonrakers).
The additional game cards all center around the new Reputation Terminal. This new track incentivizes cooperative play through the game, earning you Reputation points that can be spent on anything from additional credits and cards to prestige points. Players have the opportunity to earn reputation by aligning with other players in the game and gaining reputation exclusive to that alliance.
The first rule of Moonrakers is alliances are essential for success… now it’s not even up for debate. Instead of just seeking any player with the right resources to fulfill a contract, you’re seeking the right player that not only meets the contract requirements but helps maximize your reputation bonuses.
The danger with this new expansion is 2 players have the opportunity to team up and build their dominance over the rest of the pack. Enter rule number two: Negotiation is King. This just creates new opportunities for tough negotiation as well as counter alliances to combat any nefarious dealings.
Finally, rule number three: What goes up must get pummeled by everyone at the table. Alliances all lead to betrayal… It’s widely accepted as the nature of the game. When any player starts to separate themselves from the pack they’ll inevitably become the target of blockades and collusion.
One of the biggest criticisms of Moonrakers is its extended play time. Any game centered around shrewd negotiation can fall victim to this. The Binding Ties expansion doesn’t necessarily make the game faster, but it does potentially provide avenues to speed up your own engine and reach the finish line in record time. It all depends on how you play it, but it’s cool to know new options are available that could have a major impact on your success and enjoyment of the game.
Binding Ties brings an entirely new component to the game with the Reputation Terminal. The incentive has been raised to partner with other players and brings a lot to the table without substantially increasing the game’s footprint. The expansion is super easy to implement into the base game and it creates a ton of fun, new bonuses to up your experience. I guarantee we won’t be playing Moonrakers without Binding Ties.
KICKING IT OFF
The new Titan Campaign hits Kickstarter on July 19th with 4 expansions and a Big Box Edition.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience Moonrakers, do yourself a favor and get in on this Kickstarter. I haven’t played anything like Moonrakers and it’s a usual suspect at our game nights. It does play better with a larger group, but it will, without a doubt, successfully bring the most introverted player out of their shell and to the negotiating table. The expansions are a bit of a luxury, but if you’re a Moonrakers fan… you’re going to want to grab these. They provide a ton of new strategic choices and deck-building options that are going to substantially extend the life of Moonrakers.
IV Games is currently one of my favorite game publishers. They always deliver a unique and rich experience without any regrets. This is a high endorsement for a high-end game from us at Unfiltered Gamer.